Last week I was delighted to get an invitation to a new product launch party. Sunday Riley is coming out with a foundation, and I got an invitation to their “Influencer” Launch Party?? You BET i was excited!
The site told me to RSVP, so I quickly did so, noting that I could have a +1, which I accepted, so that I could bring my sister along – obviously something like this is way more fun when you bring a friend.
When we arrived, there was already a fairly long line, but since I had gotten confirmation of my RSVP, I wasn’t too concerned. Eventually the line started to move and when we got closer, we saw some staff moving through the line with wrist bands. We then discovered they were merely checking ages (there were free drinks to be had!), and everyone got a wrist band. So…not checking anyone in. This concerns me a little, mostly because huge crowds aren’t my favorite thing. But we were nearly in by that point, so we got excited again. As we got through the main door, we spotted a cute display with what I found out is the total range, twenty colors:
We passed into another room with a glitter confetti booth in one corner, a bathtub full of white balls, and opposite that, a giant rubber duck. I also realized about this point that the NAME of the foundation was Influencer, and the implication that this was any sort of exclusive launch party was apparently unfounded. Lots of people seemed to be stopping here in order to get a cute picture, but I was focused on checking out the products so we continued into the main event.
When I said I wanted to rub shoulders with other beauty enthusiasts, this isn’t what I meant!
It was SO Crowded. I realize the foreground doesn’t look too bad here, but this is right near the exit. I didn’t take any photos in all of the rest of the rooms because I could barely raise my arms while we were inside, for fear of hitting other party goers. I took this as we were leaving later, but it was about the same:
See that pink sign on the right? That is the vending machine that was supposed to dispense your shade of foundation for you, with its door hanging open. More on that later. Just under the slide on the left there was a table where you could get one of a few different signature cocktails. We made our way over on arrival, and the drink wasn’t bad, but it was too crowded to try and get back for seconds. Just above the pink sign on the right led to another room, where we quickly identified two makeup artists who were providing sample applications of the foundation and expert shade matches. There was also a long table with mostly empty clear plastic bins. We found that these were meant to be holding both candy and samples of other Sunday Riley products – which I will note, the staff fought to keep stocked the entire time we were there, to little success. We found the free tote bags in some cute pink cans, and picked one of the long lines for the shade matching. While we were waiting, they replenished the samples, so I braved the sample counter while my sister kept our place in line – and we managed to get one each of all the samples available:
Honestly, it was not easy to get these. As I mentioned, the bins kept getting cleared out. This was likely due to the many people I saw grabbing handfuls of each one. This really bummed me out. I know what it is to be excited about samples, but I always try to be considerate. Would I have loved to get ten sample bottles of Good Genes? Of course! That’s a very expensive product and it would be awesome to have a large supply of it for free; but I also knew everyone else there would like to get a sample of it, so I got one. It’s not so uncool to be considerate of your fellow enthusiasts is it? So much of the online beauty community I’ve experienced is so welcoming, positive and friendly. Everyone is always ready to share a tip or alert others to an amazing sale, I always find the best comment sections are the ones where people are talking beauty & skincare! I guess I was really expecting that “we’re all friends here” sort of feel to translate, and seeing this everyone-for-themself sort of behavior was a real let down for me.
I was actually pretty excited to get these samples! I have actually already tried the orange tube, that is the CEO Vitamin C Brightening Serum, because I got a full size sample from Allure Beauty Box. (Seriously, isn’t that awesome? I think the Allure box is very underrated, but this is a tangent). I love it and having a little travel size of it is great. The U.F.O. oil is a clarifying treatment that helps clear pores and acne, which is a very welcome item- nothing like fighting wrinkles and acne at the same time am I right? Finally is the Good Genes Lactic Acid treatment, which seems to be quite the workhorse; according to its label it’s exfoliating, clarifying, brightens dark spots and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. I can’t wait to see if these all live up to the hype they’ve been getting.
After our continued wait (which was rather uncomfortable – our line was blocking the caterer’s exit door, so the poor wait staff kept having to fight their way in and out), we finally got to the makeup artist. This woman was incredible, super friendly and knowledgeable. Despite the crazy conditions, she didn’t make us feel rushed, and she practically guessed our correct color on sight. (She did swatches and some partial application to confirm.) She gave us little slips with our foundation shade numbers on them and let us know we could get a tube from the pink vending machine by the exit.
There were supposedly a few more fun areas in the back, but after waiting nearly an hour for our shade match, we looked at the densely packed crowd in that direction and gave up. We decided to pick up our foundation and leave more space in the tiny venue for other hopeful fans. By the time we got to the vending machine, the front of it was swung open, and several (rather harried looking) staff members were manually handing out bottles, I told them our shade (my sister and I are the same shade in most foundations) and was promptly informed they were out of our shade, 130.
My sister gestured for me to make the call, and I accepted the next shade lighter, 120 for us. We finally had the new foundation, and after a brief conference, we decided to get out.
Overall, I am excited to have this new foundation to try, it has a lovely texture and it really does seem to cover redness well. However, I hope most launch events are better organized than this one.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love Sunday Riley, I think their products are beautifully designed, and the things I’ve tried so far have been wonderful. But the layout of this event was very frustrating, and the lack of crowd control made us feel very disregarded. There wasn’t any sense of structure, not much in the way of a formal welcome- even some sort of floor plan indicating all the areas could have proved helpful. I think a lot of people used the vending machine as soon as they arrived, without receiving a shade consultation, since there were no signs or other instructions. We found the tote bags by luck, and pretty much had to figure things out for ourselves. Not what I expected from a luxury brand’s launch party.
All in all, my favorite part of the evening was probably spending time with my sister, because ultimately when you’re going to any sort of crowded event you should bring someone who can make standing in line fun.